Friday, July 16, 2010

Up, Up, and Away!

Unto You I lift up my eyes,
O You who dwell in the heavens. Psalm 123:1

Up I went...into the clouds of His faithfulness. A scared child reaching out to grasp tightly her Father's hand. As I clung to him, I opened the book  (God A Good Father by Michael Phillips) I had previously tucked in my purse, and read these words -

      Chapter 1: The Instinct To Look Up

          "Deep within every mortal heart lies a created hunger for the heavenly mountains of God's presence. All of us, from our infancy, have silently wondered what lies on the slopes above the mist, hidden from view...up where God dwells."

      How timely those words were that day. God knew I would be on the airplane, even if I hadn't reminded Him a hundred times. He knew I would be afraid, because I don't like to fly, so He gave me a book to comfort remind me that He was with me, and that He was a good Father.

      It was a last minute take a book (but He knew I would think of it), I pulled a few off the shelf the day before my flight and thumbed through them. One had been there for several years. I confess, it was borrowed, and I should have given it back long ago. I would never promote the habit of borrowing books and not returning them, nor do I think it's right to shift the blame to someone else for me keeping the book, but in this particular case I have to say - it was God!

      The reason I know it was Him is because I found His fingerprints all over it. He had been leaving a trail for me to follow that led me straight to it. The touch of His Spirit on my heart during prayer time, and pointing out words of confirmation in scripture, were His ways of sprinkling little snippets of Truth across my path over and over again, leading my thoughts in a certain direction. He was weaving a theme throughout my days - to trust Him and seek a place with Him that goes higher than my look up!

      When I first opened the book I read this introduction, " I would like to invite you on a journey, an inner quest out of the valleys and low places of our spiritual abodes to the high mountains..." As I continued through the introduction, phrases kept jumping out at me like, "gaze upward toward the mountain tops of your faith,...I invite you to join an adventure that will lead to wider vistas and broader outlooks than are possible from the lowlands." Hm, it was sounding a lot like the things God had been teaching me over the weeks leading up to my trip. To leave the lowlands, where I felt comfortable, and seek a higher place with Him, out of my comfort zone.

      That is when it hit me - My spiritual life is similar to the way I plan a trip. There are certain things I'm afraid of doing and they prevent me from experiencing the full reality of who God is. Will I take His hand and move forward if it requires an airplane or will I limit my journey with Him to transportation closer to the ground?  Is He God, or is He not? If I believe He is, then I must also believe that He holds everything - EVERYTHING, in His mighty hands.

      I was finding myself within the metaphors of this book in a very literal way. God was inviting me on an adventure that required me to leave the lowlands of my faith and trust Him. I closed the cover and noticed the clouds on the paper jacket - perfect! I knew without a doubt this was the book I was to take, so I pushed it down in my purse, along with a pack of gum and a granola bar.

     After boarding the plane I sat there like a hostage of fear. I wasn't able to sit with my husband due to
booking our flights at the last minute. Instead I was sandwiched in between two ladies who pretended I wasn't there. I'm sure it was part of God's plan (He wanted me all to Himself). As I sat there alone and apparently invisible, His presence became very real to me. We left the ground, and I gripped His hand tighter as we took turns reminding each other of His faithfulness, then I began reading the book.

      He taught me that sometimes this journey is going to involve trusting Him with areas of fear and moving (or flying) past them, to get beyond the lowlands to a higher place with Him. The airplane, the book...all tools to remind me who He is - God. There are things He wants to teach me about Himself; that He is Faithful, Loving, and All Powerful. If I had a choice, I would have chosen to learn those lessons without flying through a thunderstorm, but my Father always does things with such flair!

"I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness,
and I will hold your hand;..." Isaiah 42:6


  1. Very interesting, thought-provoking and encouraging. Loved the Bible verses you shared as well. :)

    Don't you love it when you see His hand working before you ever knew what you were going to do! It's so awesome! :)

    Thank you for co-hosting another delightful Spiritual Sunday!

  2. sounds like a great book!

    i'm the very same way about
    flying, especially through storms!

    it's the lack of control, i think.
    and we're back to trusting. )

  3. I love this post. I can really identify with it. I'm not fond of flying either, and I always close my eyes and pray on take off and landing as well as many times while in flight, especially during any "turbulence". Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  4. Sounds like a good book and God knew just when you would need to read it...

    Linda J

  5. Thank you, Charlotte. Beautiful words and a beautiful message. So true. So true. There have been times I've been flying high and really enjoying the lofty journey, and other times when I feel like we're just circling the airport. Waiting. Waiting. When is this plane going to land? But even circling the airport is better than being stuck on the ground. And knowing Him like I do, it's probably not an airport below those clouds we're hovering but something much more glorious. The mysteries of God...what a ride :)

  6. What a thoughtful post...Sometimes it so difficult to leave the lowlands where it seems so safe but it's only when we step up in faith that God can truly reveal himself to us.

  7. What a wonderful post … God never fails if we placed our trust in Him. In the words of King David.Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.(1 Chronicles 28:20).
    Sweet blessings,

  8. It is so amazing to see God's hand moving in our lives.
    Thank you for the good word!

  9. I love the fact that the Lord led you to this book. I'm glad that you felt him while you were on your journey.

  10. Thank you so much for posting this. I KNOW the Lord wanted me to read it.
    I am terrified of flying and my girls want me to fly all the way to Chesapeake Virginia with them. I live on the west coast at the waters edge. This would be a five hour flight.


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